Winter weather brings many challenges to safe driving. We are all familiar with the dangers if rain, snow and ice on the road. the onset of cold weather brings drivers a unique set of dangers and inconveniences. Tires lose pressure, sometimes becoming dangerously (and invisibly) deflated. Batteries lose power in the cold too. Shorter days mean that commutes — and emergencies — often happen in the dark. But there are ways you can prepare for some of these problems.
Take the time to check your tire pressure. A tire properly inflated for the summer may be running low now. A dangerously low tire won’t always be obvious to the eye, and even a short drive to the gas station can warm your tires enough that they’ll register a false safe pressure at the air pump.
The cooler weather often causes batteries to go dead so be ready for that. A dead battery is a major inconvenience, and if it strands you in cold weather, a safety concern. Now there are small portable jump starters that are available. These devices are about the size of a smartphone and can jump standard cars, small pickups and compact SUVs, and can hold a charge for at least a year.
Make sure to have tools that may help in winter conditions. There are the basic tools you should have along with a flashlight or headlamp which will keep your hands free. In areas that experience heavy snow fall a good windshield scrapper is good to have. A good shovel may come in handy and an emergency blanket in case you become stranded.
Doing some things before the cold sets in also helps. Replace your wiper blades if it’s been more than a year. Top up your washer fluid, making sure to use a de-icing formula so it won’t freeze on the glass.
Driving in winter weather conditions brings its own challenges and great care and planning should always be used.